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Offline syhprum

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« on: 12/03/2009 12:18:09 »
Most technologicaly advanced countries claim to have developed the worlds first electronic digital computer.
If we consider that a stored program is essential then ENIAC and Colossus certainly don't count, in my opinion the Manchester 'Baby' with its CRT data storage was in my opinion probably the first although it was very small and late.


 

Offline Vern

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« Reply #1 on: 12/03/2009 13:14:15 »
This Wiki article has some interesting history. We might have to be careful in a definition of computer that would exclude these old mechanical designs.

Quote from: the link
Examples of early mechanical calculating devices included the abacus, the slide rule and arguably the astrolabe and the Antikythera mechanism (which dates from about 150-100 BC). Hero of Alexandria (c. 10–70 AD) built a mechanical theater which performed a play lasting 10 minutes and was operated by a complex system of ropes and drums that might be considered to be a means of deciding which parts of the mechanism performed which actions and when.[3] This is the essence of programmability.

Quote from: another quote from the link
Several developers of ENIAC, recognizing its flaws, came up with a far more flexible and elegant design, which came to be known as the "stored program architecture" or von Neumann architecture. This design was first formally described by John von Neumann in the paper First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC, distributed in 1945. A number of projects to develop computers based on the stored-program architecture commenced around this time, the first of these being completed in Great Britain. The first to be demonstrated working was the Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine (SSEM or "Baby"), while the EDSAC, completed a year after SSEM, was the first practical implementation of the stored program design. Shortly thereafter, the machine originally described by von Neumann's paper—EDVAC—was completed but did not see full-time use for an additional two years.
« Last Edit: 12/03/2009 13:20:39 by Vern »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #2 on: 12/03/2009 15:14:42 »
from this article about Bletchley Park:

"For many years the honour of being the world’s first electronic computer was given to the American ENIAC. In recent years, however, both the UK and US governments have declassified and released papers giving more information about Colossus. In the light of this historians have been forced to reconsider and most now agree that Colossus was in fact the world’s first electronic computer."

ner ner thrrrrp - we got there first! (designed by Tommy Flowers, a Post Office telephone engineer, by the way)
« Last Edit: 12/03/2009 15:16:54 by DoctorBeaver »
 

Offline syhprum

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« Reply #3 on: 12/03/2009 19:19:59 »
When I visited Bletchley Park the enthusiasts working on a copy of an ancient computer explained to me that it was really them that 'won the war' but I don't see how colossus qualifies as a stored program computer let alone the first.
I think this article gives a very fair summery of the development of early computers

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EDSAC
« Last Edit: 12/03/2009 19:29:43 by syhprum »
 

Offline yor_on

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« Reply #4 on: 12/03/2009 19:30:58 »
How about this guy that designed that 'mechanical' computer working digitally? Don't remember his name babbage?
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #5 on: 12/03/2009 20:35:28 »
How about this guy that designed that 'mechanical' computer working digitally? Don't remember his name babbage?

Yes, Charles Babbage.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #6 on: 12/03/2009 20:38:16 »
syhprum - Whether it was Babbage's beastie, Colossus or Baby we  still got there first!
 

Offline syhprum

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« Reply #7 on: 12/03/2009 20:43:44 »
You can see a recently constructed version of his second design working in the London science museum but no one has yet built his most ambitious design of a stored program machine.
Like ENIAC Babbages machine was decimal not binary

See also http://www.diycalculator.com/sp-mechcomp.shtml
a truly revolutionary early machine
PS in a large jar close to the machine sits his brain!
« Last Edit: 12/03/2009 21:04:05 by syhprum »
 

Offline Vern

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« Reply #8 on: 12/03/2009 20:53:03 »

This Wiki article on Charles Babbage
is very intersting. I never before knew the orign of the Ada programming language.

Quote from: from the link
Charles Babbage, FRS (26 December 1791 – 18 October 1871)[2] was an English mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer who originated the concept of a programmable computer. Parts of his uncompleted mechanisms are on display in the London Science Museum. In 1991, a perfectly functioning difference engine was constructed from Babbage's original plans. Built to tolerances achievable in the 19th century, the success of the finished engine indicated that Babbage's machine would have worked. Nine years later, the Science Museum completed the printer Babbage had designed for the difference engine, an astonishingly complex device for the 19th century. Babbage is credited with inventing the first mechanical computer that eventually led to more complex designs.

This quote attributes the Ada programming language to Ada Lovelace, who actually wrote a computer program for the Babbage computer.
Quote from: the link
Ada Lovelace, an impressive mathematician, and one of the few people who fully understood Babbage's ideas, created a program for the Analytical Engine. Had the Analytical Engine ever actually been built, her program would have been able to calculate a sequence of Bernoulli numbers. Based on this work, Lovelace is now widely credited with being the first computer programmer.[22] In 1979, a contemporary programming language was named Ada in her honour. Shortly afterward, in 1981, a satirical article by Tony Karp in the magazine Datamation described the Babbage programming language as the "language of the future".[23]
« Last Edit: 14/03/2009 02:32:43 by Vern »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #9 on: 12/03/2009 21:07:19 »
Quote
I never before knew the orign of the Ada programming language.

I did  [^]
 

Offline yor_on

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« Reply #10 on: 12/03/2009 21:41:07 »
"PS in a large jar close to the machine sits his brain!"
That doesn't sit right with me?

Shouldn't it lay?

English...

--

Btw: decimal?

Then it must have been ten times faster, right?
I mean, you can't count a zero?
« Last Edit: 12/03/2009 21:44:38 by yor_on »
 

Offline syhprum

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« Reply #11 on: 12/03/2009 21:49:03 »
Yor_on

Lay implies the past tense I could say lie,s but to be quite unambiguous I should have said that on a shelf near the machine there is a large jar containing the brain of the late Mr Babbage which I found not a little surprising
 

Offline yor_on

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« Reply #12 on: 13/03/2009 11:45:49 »
Syhprum, if I would make discovery like that, I too would question the motives lurking behind those shadows, it sounds like one of those places where one could expect the lights to flicker? Rest assured though, I found no faults with your earlier enunciation either, to be truthful, it just made my imagination aviate. like, why would they make it sit:) A strange place indeed, I will most certainly need to visit it, creaking floors, flickering lights, shadows and just possibly a mechanical computer greeting me with -'Welcome to your doom, behold the former occupant'.
((I think I'll engage that other fellow first, you know, him and Dr Watson::))
 

Offline rosalind dna

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« Reply #13 on: 14/03/2009 16:52:22 »
But Tommy Flowers computer was the very First Electronic computer anywhere in the world and yes it was a British invention.

Like the brilliant minds who worked in Bletchley Park. I have seen it as well also now they have the 1st computer museum.
 

Offline syhprum

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« Reply #14 on: 14/03/2009 17:48:00 »
Perhaps they could include the first radar set, the first television, the first jet engine, the first bagpipes and other things to numerous to mention all invented in England.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #15 on: 14/03/2009 18:39:53 »
Perhaps they could include the first radar set, the first television, the first jet engine, the first bagpipes and other things to numerous to mention all invented in England.

Sorry, mate, not bagpipes. Sumerian.
 

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« Reply #15 on: 14/03/2009 18:39:53 »

 

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